Tom asks on Blue Lines Revisited
: "If you could have reviewed any record in history at the time it first came out, which would you choose and why?" This is my response, which will shock no one:
Ashlee Simpson's Autobiography
. Who knows if I'd have reviewed it with insight, arriving cold; Mikael Wood's review in the Voice
was excellent; the point is, if I'd been assigned to review it I wouldn't have known what was coming, I'd have been surprised down to my socks. Just what would it have been like to be hit right at the start with this young woman declaring, "I walked a thousand miles while everyone was asleep," a mystery and a pheenom in her first fanfare, and then two songs later clawing and ripping at herself and her family and trying to resurrect it simultaneously? Maybe I'd have been up to the job, or maybe I wouldn't have grasped what I was hearing. But it would have been nice to to be the one who shows up with a fresh face, the first writer to feel the wind.
(Of course millions of girls had seen her reality show on MTV already, but, interesting as the show was, I'm glad I caught her first through the music, the reflectiveness and the struggle deeper there.)
I did put on a promo copy of Miranda Lambert's Kerosene
with no idea who she was or what to expect, and went "Holy amazing shit!" as the title song started it off. Someone else did the review, though.
On Rolling Teenpop I was the first person in my universe to write about Marit Larsen as a solo artist, catching her "Don't Save Me" shortly out of the gate; and I had fun observing other people independently showing up on Rolling Teenpop with the news, a phenomenon in our little world. And I did get the review in the Voice
, one of the last ones they let me do, though I was allowed little more than a blurb.
I was also the first person in my universe to post about Taylor Swift, on my MySpace and on Rolling Teenpop, though I'd heard the single months earlier and Jimmy Draper had talked her up in an email to me, which is what got me interested. I was the first one on Rolling Teenpop to hear and post about the "Greatest Time Of Year"/"Not This Year" dialectic from Aly & AJ. Think of what utter fucking dipshits the Voice
people were for not having me and Dave and Mike and Tim and Erika and Chuck etc. blogging all this music on launch.